What is a spirit of gratitude?
I was recently reading about gratitude in Forbes Magazine, and I was struck by this definition: “Gratitude is the act of feeling and communicating appreciation for the people, circumstances, and material possessions in our lives. It allows us to cherish our present in ways that make us feel in abundance rather than deprived.” (Luis E. Romero; Gratitude: The Ultimate Spiritual Practice (A Thanksgiving Special) November 22, 2017)
Do you practice gratitude every day? Are you thankful for your friends, family, and possessions? Do you show gratitude to God and others?
I must be honest with you right now…I’m worried about this present society. There are four forces that seem to be robbing millions of the spirit of gratitude:
- A sense of entitlement. I’m not slamming the X, Y, or Z generations. This sense that the world owes me, God owes me, my parents owe me, or the government owes me is a systemic disease that is cross-cultural and cross-generational.
- Hurt has turned into hate and bitterness for many minorities and people groups. The age of offense has taken over our society. Many are no longer grateful for the good in their countries or the blessings of living where they do. Although hurt is real, abuse is real, and injustice is real, hurt requires healing rather than revenge.
- The level of corruption and injustice in our societies has caused tremendous discouragement for hundreds of millions of people. In my opinion, we’re living in an age of disillusionment.
- Godless generations have created self-centered societies that have placed their hopes on humanity rather than on God.
Although these problems are real to us, Jesus also faced similar struggles. In the book of Luke, we read that ten lepers were healed: “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’” (Luke 17:15-18, NIV) Can you imagine that only one returned to say thank you? Kind of like today, except for, by God’s grace, people like you and me.
Wrap yourself in a spirit of gratitude as you look around and see all the ways God has blessed you. Then watch the heavens open over your life because you were born for miracles! :-)